Ennobling Magic

Discuss general aspects of Genii.
Brad Henderson
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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby Brad Henderson » December 10th, 2017, 1:59 am

It is quite clear that you don't appreciate the analytical approach to this subject Brad. Your understanding of the psychology of the audience is limited to the assumption that they just want to have a good time and don't really mind being lied to if it provides them a momentary diversion.


but you've offered no 'analysis'. You have never established that there is a method by which they know you are lying other than failure and you have yet to establish that being caught lying is worse than being caught in any technique.

so please, share us your 'analysis' - but saying this is what audiences value with NOTHING to back it up isn't 'analysis'

having said that, i didn't say audiences just want to have a 'good time.'. i said audiences care only about how what you do makes them FEEL. Art can produce many feelings including those of great discomfort. What i said was, if you give the audience a feeling they VALUE MORE than knowing the secret then they will fight to protect and preserve this feeling.

And we see this every day, people will ignore obvious factual truths if they challenge the comfort of their pre existing beliefs.

this notion that people don't like being lied to is nonsense. When given the choice between hard truths and comforting bulls^%t, many - if not most - opt
for the bull.

people don't go to a 'magic' show to face hard truths. you want to limit their experience to that of puzzle participants. that's far too shallow of a goal for magic than i, and many, are prepared to settle for.


My belief is that people come to see a magic show to be impressed by a performer whose speciality is the practice of little known methods that allow him to create wondrous illusions. Lying is not a "little known method". It is as common as dirt.


because you are a puzzler and not a magician. this belief of yours places the emphasis of the experience onto appreciation of technique. When our feelingful response comes from appreciation of technique that is NOT magic, that is juggling. Technique is the domain of craft. As you wrote earlier, for you magic is the creation of illusion so the audience can attempt to figure out how it's done

the problem keyes is you are trying to strip magic of what makes it magic

you are taking something profound and rendering it trivial.

YOU and this attitude do more to sully the art than any prevarication.


Therefore I feel that it sullies the art. Now there is no way that you or I can prove that lying helps ot hurts. We can only consult our own intuition for an answer.


and that's the problem. you don't have the experience on which to safely trust your intuition and i can prove it:

your approach to magic eschews lying. So you tell us how lying doesn't work

this is the equivalent of someone who has no experience palming telling a room of magicians that palming doesn't work.

if you aren't practicing it, how can you expect to obtain the skill set to use any technique effectively?

the examples of lies you provide suggest this lack of understanding. you simply don't know how or when to lie, man.

But I think you will admit that gaining and keeping the audience's trust is vital to any performer's career. Trust in What? That is the question. Trust that your words are true as you attempt to misdirect them, or trust that you cannot be trusted?


again, how can they know they can't trust you unless you get caught, and why will they trust you less for having uttered a verbal lie as opposed to a non verbal one?

you're spinning in your circle again

and tell me, do they no longer trust emma stone because once she said she was a high school kid and another time she said she was an la barista and another an aspiring writer from the south ?

once again you are trying to force a misguided notion that the audience cares how you do what you do. They don't. they only care how you make them feel.

technique is a back stage issue. stop trying to get the audience to look at the electrical sockets.

You seem to be saying that on ONE LEVEL, they know you are a liar, but if you hypnotise them with your brilliant llies, they will forgive and forget. I don't buy that, Mr. Henderson.


no. never said that. never said anything like that.

are you really that desperate ?

And even if it were true, it would be to the advantage of every magician to extend that trust beyond the moment of rapture; to the life long memory of their performances.


And as we have discussed ad nauseum, there is no need to do this if you don't get caught. In fact, there is no way to do this beyond telling them you aren't lying - but
why would they believe that any more than if you said you were using a 'perfectly ordinary deck of cards'?

and how can you prove you weren't lying without exposing your method to prove that while you indeed did this, you certainly didn't say that.

as you have admitted the audience doesn't know if the skilled competant performer is lying or not - so without an observable
difference in the performance, why bother.

(i know, i know - because it's self evident
to the person who admits to having zero real world experience using the technique. we got it).

and why do you think that the discovery of a mirror doesn't kill their trust for you any less than having that discovery accompanied with words?

again, your position is utterly groundless

No one is going to begrudge you the use of gimmicks and sleights. They may smile and admire the cleverness of man's technology, or the fluid grace of his practiced moves, but when they realise that he lied in lieu of these things, they are likely to feel foolish, gullible and naive to have been astonished. Not the sort of thing that I would pay to see again. How about you, Brad?


what planet are you from? if they catch the card in your hand you are a crappy magician and they won't want to see you again. There is no 'grace' in exposing the sleights. that's failure.

You really think that the spectator who spies the mirror is going to admire you???

again, what planet are you living on? have you ever performed for another living human being?

i would LOVE to see you flash a palmed card at a bar mitzvah or for a party of high powered wall street traders and see exactly how much 'admiration' comes your way.

the thing is, it's hard to prove that a performer lied - if they know how to do so skillfully.

But as you don't have any really world experience using this technique - afterall, you have chosen to eschew lies from your act - it stands to reason that you wouldn't be successful in your attempts.


Anyone? Where are these folks whose thoughts you know so well, despite the fact that you never discuss your methods with them?


not sure who you are addressing here.

i don't discuss methods with my audience because ITS NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS.

methods are to be hidden, not exposed.

UNLESS you are a juggler or puzzler. In one the methods are the show. In the other, the deciphering the methods is the goal

that's not the goal of a magician

the magician conveys the feelingful response of magic. Magic is the feeling you have when that which you know is impossible occurs undeniably in your presence.

if the audience sees your methods or thinks the experience is about figuring them out - you aren't doing magic.

you're a puzzler

which is why your audiences don't seem to respect magic as an art.

it's because you're doing it wrong.

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jkeyes1000
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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby jkeyes1000 » December 10th, 2017, 8:26 am

Brad Henderson wrote:
It is quite clear that you don't appreciate the analytical approach to this subject Brad. Your understanding of the psychology of the audience is limited to the assumption that they just want to have a good time and don't really mind being lied to if it provides them a momentary diversion.


but you've offered no 'analysis'. You have never established that there is a method by which they know you are lying other than failure and you have yet to establish that being caught lying is worse than being caught in any technique.

so please, share us your 'analysis' - but saying this is what audiences value with NOTHING to back it up isn't 'analysis'

having said that, i didn't say audiences just want to have a 'good time.'. i said audiences care only about how what you do makes them FEEL. Art can produce many feelings including those of great discomfort. What i said was, if you give the audience a feeling they VALUE MORE than knowing the secret then they will fight to protect and preserve this feeling.

And we see this every day, people will ignore obvious factual truths if they challenge the comfort of their pre existing beliefs.

this notion that people don't like being lied to is nonsense. When given the choice between hard truths and comforting bulls^%t, many - if not most - opt
for the bull.

people don't go to a 'magic' show to face hard truths. you want to limit their experience to that of puzzle participants. that's far too shallow of a goal for magic than i, and many, are prepared to settle for.


My belief is that people come to see a magic show to be impressed by a performer whose speciality is the practice of little known methods that allow him to create wondrous illusions. Lying is not a "little known method". It is as common as dirt.


because you are a puzzler and not a magician. this belief of yours places the emphasis of the experience onto appreciation of technique. When our feelingful response comes from appreciation of technique that is NOT magic, that is juggling. Technique is the domain of craft. As you wrote earlier, for you magic is the creation of illusion so the audience can attempt to figure out how it's done

the problem keyes is you are trying to strip magic of what makes it magic

you are taking something profound and rendering it trivial.

YOU and this attitude do more to sully the art than any prevarication.


Therefore I feel that it sullies the art. Now there is no way that you or I can prove that lying helps ot hurts. We can only consult our own intuition for an answer.


and that's the problem. you don't have the experience on which to safely trust your intuition and i can prove it:

your approach to magic eschews lying. So you tell us how lying doesn't work

this is the equivalent of someone who has no experience palming telling a room of magicians that palming doesn't work.

if you aren't practicing it, how can you expect to obtain the skill set to use any technique effectively?

the examples of lies you provide suggest this lack of understanding. you simply don't know how or when to lie, man.

But I think you will admit that gaining and keeping the audience's trust is vital to any performer's career. Trust in What? That is the question. Trust that your words are true as you attempt to misdirect them, or trust that you cannot be trusted?


again, how can they know they can't trust you unless you get caught, and why will they trust you less for having uttered a verbal lie as opposed to a non verbal one?

you're spinning in your circle again

and tell me, do they no longer trust emma stone because once she said she was a high school kid and another time she said she was an la barista and another an aspiring writer from the south ?

once again you are trying to force a misguided notion that the audience cares how you do what you do. They don't. they only care how you make them feel.

technique is a back stage issue. stop trying to get the audience to look at the electrical sockets.

You seem to be saying that on ONE LEVEL, they know you are a liar, but if you hypnotise them with your brilliant llies, they will forgive and forget. I don't buy that, Mr. Henderson.


no. never said that. never said anything like that.

are you really that desperate ?

And even if it were true, it would be to the advantage of every magician to extend that trust beyond the moment of rapture; to the life long memory of their performances.


And as we have discussed ad nauseum, there is no need to do this if you don't get caught. In fact, there is no way to do this beyond telling them you aren't lying - but
why would they believe that any more than if you said you were using a 'perfectly ordinary deck of cards'?

and how can you prove you weren't lying without exposing your method to prove that while you indeed did this, you certainly didn't say that.

as you have admitted the audience doesn't know if the skilled competant performer is lying or not - so without an observable
difference in the performance, why bother.

(i know, i know - because it's self evident
to the person who admits to having zero real world experience using the technique. we got it).

and why do you think that the discovery of a mirror doesn't kill their trust for you any less than having that discovery accompanied with words?

again, your position is utterly groundless

No one is going to begrudge you the use of gimmicks and sleights. They may smile and admire the cleverness of man's technology, or the fluid grace of his practiced moves, but when they realise that he lied in lieu of these things, they are likely to feel foolish, gullible and naive to have been astonished. Not the sort of thing that I would pay to see again. How about you, Brad?


what planet are you from? if they catch the card in your hand you are a crappy magician and they won't want to see you again. There is no 'grace' in exposing the sleights. that's failure.

You really think that the spectator who spies the mirror is going to admire you???

again, what planet are you living on? have you ever performed for another living human being?

i would LOVE to see you flash a palmed card at a bar mitzvah or for a party of high powered wall street traders and see exactly how much 'admiration' comes your way.

the thing is, it's hard to prove that a performer lied - if they know how to do so skillfully.

But as you don't have any really world experience using this technique - afterall, you have chosen to eschew lies from your act - it stands to reason that you wouldn't be successful in your attempts.


Anyone? Where are these folks whose thoughts you know so well, despite the fact that you never discuss your methods with them?


not sure who you are addressing here.

i don't discuss methods with my audience because ITS NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS.

methods are to be hidden, not exposed.

UNLESS you are a juggler or puzzler. In one the methods are the show. In the other, the deciphering the methods is the goal

that's not the goal of a magician

the magician conveys the feelingful response of magic. Magic is the feeling you have when that which you know is impossible occurs undeniably in your presence.

if the audience sees your methods or thinks the experience is about figuring them out - you aren't doing magic.

you're a puzzler

which is why your audiences don't seem to respect magic as an art.

it's because you're doing it wrong.


I hsve established a method for the audience to know you are NOT LYING. I calI it "NOT LYING". All you have to do is avoid making direct statements that are untrue.

You are floundering, Mr. Henderson. You keep accusing me of advocating the abolishment of fantasy from the art of Magic. I have no problem with "fairy tales" that do not insult or abuse the audience's trust in the performer as a decent human being, someone who shares his ability to work wonders IN CONFIDENCE.

This is not a "puzzler", but a congenial entertainer, as opposed to a shyster.

You suggest that lying is the thing that makes an effect magical, you defend the right to lie as if you feel that to rescind it would deprive you of your living. Well maybe it would, if you just couldn't help yourself. If you were a liar by nature.

Brad Henderson
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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby Brad Henderson » December 10th, 2017, 11:05 am


I hsve established a method for the audience to know you are NOT LYING. I calI it "NOT LYING". All you have to do is avoid making direct statements that are untrue.


and how will they know those direct statements are true or not true unless you are incompetent?

how can you not see this?

You show them an empty box. you say the box is empty. They see the box is empty.

is the box empty?

unless they see the mirror or secret back panel the audience cannot know you have lied.

why would the audience assume you are lying to them unless you get caught?

let's change the word lie to gaff. there are some magicians who feel it is wrong to use gaffs in card magic.

how would their audience know they aren't using gaffs?

your answer would be they know because you don't use them?

ok - how does not using them convey to them they aren't in use? the only way to prove there were no gaffs used is to show them how you actually did it in order to prove it was sleight of hand and not gimmickry

and we are back to square one - your approach can only be appreciated by people who already know (or who figure out) how the tricks are done.

so you're either thinking like a magician, offering puzzles, or incompetent.


You are floundering, Mr. Henderson. You keep accusing me of advocating the abolishment of fantasy from the art of Magic. I have no problem with "fairy tales" that do not insult or abuse the audience's trust in the performer as a decent human being, someone who shares his ability to work wonders IN CONFIDENCE.

This is not a "puzzler", but a congenial entertainer, as opposed to a shyster


so some lies are ok but others aren't.

yeah. ok

why? why do you think an audience who is willing to accept the premise that the magician can conjure life from a box would be offended with a mirror in that 'empty box' THAT THEY CANT POSSIBLY KNOW EXISTS UNLESS THE PERFORMER 1) tells them or 2) is incompetent?

and again, why would discovery of said mirror by more damning with verbal accompaniment as opposed to without?

and according to the definitions i see, to be a shyster requires one to be unscrupulous professionally esp in business law or politics. No where does it say magic, and no where have you established that professionally magicians don't regularly use lies to create illusions.

if someone pays the magician to show them something impossible and he or she does, how can you say they are a shyster. they delivered exactly what the paying customer wanted

the shyster is someone who books a show and cheats on his time or doesn't show up at all.

the job of the magician is to convey the direct feeling of the impossible. You can't call a man a shyster who does exactly
what was promised.

You suggest that lying is the thing that makes an effect magical, you defend the right to lie as if you feel that to rescind it would deprive you of your living. Well maybe it would, if you just couldn't help yourself. If you were a liar by nature.


Nope, i said there is no valid reason
to dismiss any technique that allows the performer to convey the feeling of the direct experience of magic. Doesn't matter if one gets paid or not.

the lie isn't the magic just as neither the sleight nor the mirror are the magic. tney are merely tools to accomplish the task.

but you reveal your magician's thinking here : you are focusing on what interests you, the method, to the exclusion of serving the audience - the magic.

you are focused on the wiring of the lights and not the tears and gasps of the crowds.

you are doing it wrong

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jkeyes1000
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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby jkeyes1000 » December 10th, 2017, 12:37 pm

Mr. Henderson, I have already explained how to assure audiences that you are not lying. You simply ignored my answer because it did not serve your purpose.

If you make a direct statement, let it be truthful, so that you can demonstrate your claim.

If you need to imply something that is false, then either let their eyes deceive them, or make an INDIRECT OR SUGGESTIVE statement, pehaps ask a question, like "Can everyone see the interior of the box? Get a good look because I want you to be sure there are no rabbits in it".

This is another reason why I prefer comedy. It allows you to cover just about anything with a joke.

In the above patter, there is NOTHING that could even tweak a spectator's scepticism of your honesty. Yes, one might suspect that you are hiding something, omitting reference to something, but not "lying in your teeth".

You mentioned Slydini's Helicopter Card as an example of lying. I don't regard it as such. I must confess I never read up on the trick, so I can only presume how he did it.

I am guesing you mean that he is lying when he insists that the chosen card has flown from the pack and is now on the table. This I consider a "gag", because he not only allows, but implores the volunteer to verify his claim, which of course is determined to be false.

This "lie" is a tease, not the MEANS BY WHICH THE TRICK IS EFECTED. It is at most a kind of verbal misdirection. Even though it is clearly untrue, no one accuses Tony of lying. That bubble is already burst before he proceeds to the climax.

If anything, the "lie" dispels the volunteer's suspicion, because it suggests that Tony is a bad liar (which may itself be true).

So far, this is all patter and the kind of humour that Slydini was best known for. The trick itself (I guess) occurrs when Tony asks of a bystander, "What's the name of this trick?" as he braces his right hand on the table and stares at the individual, compelling all other eyes to follow.

Brad Henderson
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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby Brad Henderson » December 10th, 2017, 3:04 pm

i can choose to not li, but that doesn't assure the audience i am not lying.

a lie well told is invisible. how can the audience ever be assured you aren't using invisible things unless you announce it to them - and why would they believe you if you did?

the problem is that you don't know how to lie well, which stands to reason as you admit to not practicing it.

every example you have given has been a case of a poorly chosen/timed lie. This is no different from a poorly chosen or timed sleight.

also, you seem to suggest that i believe in adding lies for the sake of lying. This is silly in the same way as you don't add moves for the sake of doing a move.

Al Baker said the simplest method is the best. Note, simplest and easiest are two different things.

as Michael weber said 'sometimes the shortest distance between two points is a straight lie.'

magic results not from the manipulation of objects but the manipulation of people's perceptions. sometimes to do that we manipulate the objects. sometimes we lie.

the end result is what the audience cares about. if they are focusing on the electrical outlets you are doing it wrong.


why deny the use of a valid and viable tool for creating the experience of the impossible in your audiences presence when, if properly employed, that tool is undetectable to the audience?

you fail to make a case for this

the best you offer is it violates trust and this assumes that 1) the audience believes the man who promises to do the impossible will speak only truths and 2) that the audience realizes they have been lied to - so we are back to the issue of your incompetence.

and no - that's not the lie i was speaking ofi in the helicopter. get the books and read what he says. But then again you will run the risk of actually seeing first hand the history you reference. it might be uncomfortable.

but having said that - slydini was a bit of a puzzler wasn't he? Watch - try to catch me. While we as magicians loved him and what he did - how much commercial success did he have? He made his living making clothes and teaching his techniques to magicians. his tv appearances were for a magician. You might wish to pick a better example of you want to hold someone up as a model.

but tell me, how is telling the audience that they shuffled the cards when they didn't, or you never touched the cards when you did, not also verbal misdirection?

you are trying to make distinctions among things that aren't at all different.

like i've said, repeatedly, your position is groundless

other than the performers self satisfaction your approach offers nothing, certainly nothing that that would observably positively impact the audiences experience of the magic.

just as unskilled sleight of hand is to be avoided, so is unskilled lying.

but if you are unskilled at lying, it is the height of arrogance to blame the lie and not your failures as a craftsman using that technique.

we scoff at the neophyte who tells us that palming cards isn't deceptive because he keeps getting caught.

we scoff of the man who tells us that lying isn't deceptive because he doesn't have the experience to know how to do it correctly.

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jkeyes1000
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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby jkeyes1000 » December 10th, 2017, 3:46 pm

You are going round and round, asking for answers I have already given several times, as if denying their existence will eradicate them.

I went back and watched Slydini doing The Helicopter on Dick Cavett, and the only other "lie" I could detect was his saying "I knew you was-a gonna pick that card", which is even less significant. He even truthfully states that it "doesn't matter anyway". It's just another joke

And this time, I spied the exact instant that he deposited the card on the table, so I don't really need to read Ganson. Besides, one could (and should) vary the timing in order to avoid getting caught.

What was your point again?

Oh! That outright lying is generally accepted, BUT THAT the audience cannot "know" that you are lying unless you are incompetent. Do you then concede that if they GENERALLY ACCEPT it, they tend to suspect it?

If so, then wouldn't it be better to allay that suspicion? That is the basic question.

performer
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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby performer » December 10th, 2017, 7:40 pm

Brad Henderson wrote:
but having said that - slydini was a bit of a puzzler wasn't he? Watch - try to catch me. While we as magicians loved him and what he did - how much commercial success did he have? He made his living making clothes and teaching his techniques to magicians. his tv appearances were for a magician. You might wish to pick a better example of you want to hold someone up as a model.



I really have to step in here and defend Slydini. And for all I know it might need a separate thread. Now I am no particular fan of so called legends in magic and in fact I think most of them are crap, particularly the over rated modern hot shots.. However, where Slydini is concerned I feel he can do no wrong. I have used his techniques and some of his material for decades and the results for LAYMEN have been perfectly satisfactory.

He had a reasonably successful career as a professional magician performing for laymen before he was ever known among magicians. I can assure you that laymen loved his work. Here is a story that the late Ken Brooke told me about Slydini. It seems that Ken used to frequent a particular London pub on a regular basis and all the regulars knew him and he performed impromptu for them on numerous occasions. One night he told them he was going to bring in a famous magician to entertain them and they scoffed, "Oh no, Ken! There is nobody better than you!" and of course Ken was a a fantastic entertainer. He told them, "Wait and see!" The next night he brought Slydini in to show them stuff. They raved and raved about him and said they had never seen anything like it. According to Ken it was an amazing experience for them. And every single one of them were laymen.

Here is the interesting bit. No lapping! It seems the performing conditions were not conducive to that. Ken told me that Slydini did the torn and restored cigarette and I asked how he was able to do it without the usual lapping. Ken said that Slydini would throw the bit over the guys shoulder! The point I am making is that he was a sensation!

So no. It wasn't just magicians who loved him. As for commercial success that has no bearing on whether a performer is any good or not. There are brilliant performers around who cannot make a living and mediocre performers who do very well. Fitzkee explained why this is so very well in his writings once.

Someone might be good at business or have powerful connections or is suited to a showbusiness environment. Talent is an advantage but not completely necessary. It is only a factor in success. An important factor but only one factor. There are other factors that need to be addressed if you are going to make a "commercial success" in the entertainment business. And as I like to keep quoting from Maskelyne, "Money is a subject with which art has no concern"

Slydini had a nice ingratiating personality and laymen loved him for it. He was a quiet showman and I have always thought that this is often the best kind of showmanship. Vernon had it too.The criticism often levelled against Slydini was his constant challenging of the spectator. I would agree that for most performers this is not the way to go. However, for Slydini somehow it wasn't such a big deal and I don't think laymen cared that much.

He was a great magician and I owe a lot to his presence among us. And I am not the only one.

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby Brad Henderson » December 10th, 2017, 8:04 pm

keyes. you might want to watch the video again. the lie i refer to is simple and clear. it is exactly the lie you condemn.

and simply finding one magician who doesn't lie in one trick proves nothing. magicians have lied for centuries and NO ONE CARES.

it's not that they don't suspect the magician is lying, it's that they don't care - just as they don't care when a guy who was raised in jersey says he's the prince of denmark.

the audience goes to a magician to have the experience of the impossible. unless you think they really believe the magician can DO the impossible then you must concede that the audience not only expects the magician to lie, but in some ways, that's precisely why they go to him or her.

the audience knows the magician isn't doing what he or she says they are doing. they know he uses natural techniques to produce supernatural phenomena.

as long as they leave with a feeling they value they don't care how they got there.

why should they?

you are thinking like a magician. your first post proves it when you compared the situation to a dealers advertisement.

you are focusing on back stage concerns as opposed to the end result for the audience. you are putting he cart before the horse. You are fixating on means and not end

and as has been stated repeatedly, the only way the audience knows you have lied is if you get caught AND the only way they will be suspicious of a lie if if you don't know how to lie convincingly

your ineptitude is not my liability.

you are doing it wrong.

Brad Henderson
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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby Brad Henderson » December 10th, 2017, 8:10 pm

mark. slydini has influence us all, but his approach to magic is inherently challenging and the fact that so few people can pull that off is proof enough that he is a bad example to emulate. the best students of slydini look and act nothing like him. Those who never grew past the stage of mimicry can't pull it off. this isn't surprising. Slydini's work is built on who he was and how he moved. if you aren't slydini; that approach won't work. One must make it their own.

i know people, non magicians, who saw slydini and were transfixed. But i also know some non magicians who were put
off when watching him work via video. it came across as just tricks

i have no doubt had they seen him in person it would be different. But we aren't dealing with the subtleties of performance personality in this discussion, we are dealing with a claim that is meant to apply to all performers at all times. So we can't extrapolate what worked for a singular individual to the rest of the population.

now if keyes had said 'some people shouldn't lie because they don't do it well' i would agree. but to dismiss a technique because of your own ineptitude in its execution and understanding is baseless

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jkeyes1000
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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby jkeyes1000 » December 10th, 2017, 8:19 pm

Brad Henderson wrote:keyes. you might want to watch the video again. the lie i refer to is simple and clear. it is exactly the lie you condemn.

and simply finding one magician who doesn't lie in one trick proves nothing. magicians have lied for centuries and NO ONE CARES.

it's not that they don't suspect the magician is lying, it's that they don't care - just as they don't care when a guy who was raised in jersey says he's the prince of denmark.

the audience goes to a magician to have the experience of the impossible. unless you think they really believe the magician can DO the impossible then you must concede that the audience not only expects the magician to lie, but in some ways, that's precisely why they go to him or her.

the audience knows the magician isn't doing what he or she says they are doing. they know he uses natural techniques to produce supernatural phenomena.

as long as they leave with a feeling they value they don't care how they got there.

why should they?

you are thinking like a magician. your first post proves it when you compared the situation to a dealers advertisement.

you are focusing on back stage concerns as opposed to the end result for the audience. you are putting he cart before the horse. You are fixating on means and not end

and as has been stated repeatedly, the only way the audience knows you have lied is if you get caught AND the only way they will be suspicious of a lie if if you don't know how to lie convincingly

your ineptitude is not my liability.

you are doing it wrong.


Okay. You pretty much stepped in it this time, Btad.

"And the only way they will be suspicious of a lie is if you don't know how to lie convincingly".

This from a man who has explicitly stated that audiences know that magicians lie!

You don't think COMMON KNOWLEDGE leads to suspicion?

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby performer » December 10th, 2017, 8:33 pm

Brad Henderson wrote:mark. slydini has influence us all, but his approach to magic is inherently challenging and the fact that so few people can pull that off is proof enough that he is a bad example to emulate. the best students of slydini look and act nothing like him. Those who never grew past the stage of mimicry can't pull it off. this isn't surprising. Slydini's work is built on who he was and how he moved. if you aren't slydini; that approach won't work. One must make it their own.

i know people, non magicians, who saw slydini and were transfixed. But i also know some non magicians who were put
off when watching him work via video. it came across as just tricks

i have no doubt had they seen him in person it would be different. But we aren't dealing with the subtleties of performance personality in this discussion, we are dealing with a claim that is meant to apply to all performers at all times. So we can't extrapolate what worked for a singular individual to the rest of the population.

now if keyes had said 'some people shouldn't lie because they don't do it well' i would agree. but to dismiss a technique because of your own ineptitude in its execution and understanding is baseless


Slydini didn't advocate that people should emulate him. I know too many of his students did so even aping his mannerisms so perhaps he didn't emphasise this point enough in his teaching. I know he was against it and thought you should adapt his methods to your own style and delivery. I only studied his work through his books and I am quite sure I am nothing like Slydini in manner or personality! For one thing my entire philosophy of performing close up magic is NEVER to challenge but let them underestimate me and then I go in for the kill. Slydini did do the challenge thing but he did not do it in an aggressive manner and it was a little tongue in cheek so audiences just accepted it was part of his personality and weren't resentful of it.

I do remember that old misery Albert Goshman telling me "Slydini can't handle trouble". I am not 100 percent sure what he meant by that but I assume he was referring to heckling or awkward spectators. I have no idea since I have never seen him in that situation. On the other hand most magicians are pretty awful at it too (and I suspect grumpy old Goshman wasn't much good at it either) so if it were true then Slydini wouldn't be the only one.

But yes, by all means go back to this deeply entrancing and earth shaking discussion about the wisdom of mendacity in magic. There. I feel satisfied now. I have used a big word (mendacity) so I can now sound just as pompous and intellectual as everyone else on this forum.

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby MagicbyAlfred » December 10th, 2017, 11:18 pm

It may be that the most important and effective "lies" of a magician are the ones he tells to himself. We must convince ourselves that the empty hand is holding the coin, come as close as possible to believing it with the utmost conviction, and convey that belief and conviction to the spectators, so that they too will believe. (Perhaps the essence of Robert-Houdin's "actor playing the part of a magician" and the place where magic and the theatre intersect) And in this manner, the stage has been set to heighten and maximize the mystery of the vanish. I think this is one of the most important lessons Slydini had to offer...

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby jkeyes1000 » December 10th, 2017, 11:58 pm

MagicbyAlfred wrote:It may be that the most important and effective "lies" of a magician are the ones he tells to himself. We must convince ourselves that the empty hand is holding the coin, come as close as possible to believing it with the utmost conviction, and convey that belief and conviction to the spectators, so that they too will believe. (Perhaps the essence of Robert-Houdin's "actor playing the part of a magician" and the place where magic and the theatre intersect) And in this manner, the stage has been set to heighten and maximize the mystery of the vanish. I think this is one of the most important lessons Slydini had to offer...


Well said! Yes, I agree that this is where the acting should come in. The pretense of ignorance of the very means you are employing is not a "lie". It may be amnesia, it may be confusion, it may be intoxication. But unless you consciously and deliberately misstate the facts, your deceit is ambiguous and perfectly deniable.

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby Jonathan Townsend » December 11th, 2017, 9:15 am

Maybe this "lie" dialog is about keeping the audience side of silent script (what they think is happening) internal rather than narrated?

performer wrote:...Slydini didn't advocate that people should emulate him...
Maybe after they learned to do exactly as shown in the lesson.
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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby jkeyes1000 » December 11th, 2017, 10:53 am

Jonathan Townsend wrote:Maybe this "lie" dialog is about keeping the audience side of silent script (what they think is happening) internal rather than narrated?

performer wrote:...Slydini didn't advocate that people shohuld emulate him...
Maybe after they learned to do exactly as shown in the lesson.



To me, it's about allaying suspicion by diverting the audience's attention from the simple truth, rather than denying it outright. Change the subject, make a joke, focus on something else. Verbal misdirection, as opposed to blatant lies. It may be efficient to employ them, but it is neither necessary nor admirable in my opinion. If we are to practice the ART Of Deception, we ought to eschew the "quick and dirty" ways in favour of the well considered and clean.

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby Brad Henderson » December 11th, 2017, 12:17 pm


"And the only way they will be suspicious of a lie is if you don't know how to lie convincingly".

This from a man who has explicitly stated that audiences know that magicians lie!

You don't think COMMON KNOWLEDGE leads to suspicion?


no.

when you go to a haunted house are you 'suspicious' that the monsters may really be actors wearing masks?

no, because you accept that fact before going into the house.

you admit that people are aware of sleight of hand and gaffs, so are they suspicious that the magician used them? no, they aren't. they KNOW they are being used and THESE these are the tools of the trade and it is the mastery of those tools that allow the magician to create the experience they desire.

now if you are a puzzler and make your magic only about illusions the audience is meant to try and figure out, this is a problem - but who would make their magic about that other than a puzzler ?

by your logic magicians shouldnt use sleights and gaffs lest the audience be suspicious they might - and somehow their lack of using them would ASSURE the audience they weren't in use.

nonsense.

as i've said your position is groundless.

But unless you consciously and deliberately misstate the facts, your deceit is ambiguous and perfectly deniable.


really, that card they peek in your palm is ambiguous and perfectly deniable?

the reason lying is such a powerful technique is because when wisely employed there is no evidence. if you use a lie to reinforce what the audience already assumes or has been led to assume, there is no way it can be detected.

as i have said before keyes, the man who admits to never lying shouldn't be telling anyone lying doesn't work.

it's like the beginner telling the expert that the pass or palming 'doesn't work'.


To me, it's about allaying suspicion by diverting the audience's attention from the simple truth, rather than denying it outright. Change the subject, make a joke, focus on something else. Verbal misdirection, as opposed to blatant lies. It may be efficient to employ them, but it is neither necessary nor admirable in my opinion. If we are to practice the ART Of Deception, we ought to eschew the "quick and dirty" ways in favour of the well considered and clean.


and a well chosen and timed lie cannot allay suspicion or divert from the truth?

of course it can.

the problem is just as you confuse the method for the effect, you are making the lie the end and not just a means.

and where is the line between verbal misdirecting and a blatant lie?

so telling them you do the impossible is an ok lie. lies of omission are ok. non verbal lies are permissible but for some reason using your words to do the exact same thing all these other lies accomplish - i e deceive - is wrong

you admit they work - you say here they are efficient.

and the best you offer is this silly notion that it isn't 'admirable' or necessary?

well, for magic sleight of hand isn't 'necessary' and one takes a risk as great as lying each time it's attempted, but we don't advocate against its use, do we?

what isn't admirable about providing for your audiences the experience tney desire?

and again you admit that you are thinking like a magician - you demand we eschew effective and efficient methods, of which the audience is unaware when presented competently, because you don't find the method interesting enough.

the magician's favor in the method is irrelevant. what matters is the effect and feeling conveyed to the audience.

again, what isn't admirable in giving the audience the experience they desire?

stop being so selfish.

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby Brad Henderson » December 11th, 2017, 12:32 pm

MagicbyAlfred wrote:It may be that the most important and effective "lies" of a magician are the ones he tells to himself. We must convince ourselves that the empty hand is holding the coin, come as close as possible to believing it with the utmost conviction, and convey that belief and conviction to the spectators, so that they too will believe. (Perhaps the essence of Robert-Houdin's "actor playing the part of a magician" and the place where magic and the theatre intersect) And in this manner, the stage has been set to heighten and maximize the mystery of the vanish. I think this is one of the most important lessons Slydini had to offer...


if we BELIEVE that the coin is in the hand, then it isn't a lie when we act in congruence with that belief. if you would normally speak about the condition if it were real, then one should speak about the condition in the exact same way if it isn't

and here we start to see why this arbitrary delineation between verbal and non verbal lies becomes pointless.

is it more of a lie to speak of the coin that you didn't put in your hand than it is to do eveyrhing else one does to convey that the coin is in the hand when it isn't?

if you do a fake transfer to place a ball under a cup and the audience can tell it's a fake transfer your busted.
but if they can't and truly believe the ball
is in under cup - why would referring the ball they are CONVINCED is under the cup work to disrespect the art?

again, keyes problem is that a competent magician won't have the problem he insists exist. and the idea that the magician who gets caught will be chided more for his verbal accompaniment than his fake transfer is nonsense.

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby Brad Henderson » December 11th, 2017, 12:36 pm

Jonathan Townsend wrote:Maybe this "lie" dialog is about keeping the audience side of silent script (what they think is happening) internal rather than narrated?

performer wrote:...Slydini didn't advocate that people should emulate him...
Maybe after they learned to do exactly as shown in the lesson.


exactly. it was my understanding from speaking to his students that he insisted they learn each trick EXACTLY as he performed it. very few ever made it to the stage where personalization became
an issue. that's according to people who considered themselves serious personal students of slydini.

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby Jonathan Townsend » December 11th, 2017, 1:54 pm

jkeyes1000 wrote:To me, it's about allaying suspicion by diverting the audience's attention from the simple truth, rather than denying it outright. Change the subject, make a joke, focus on something else. Verbal misdirection, as opposed to blatant lies. ...


Suspicion is a biggie. Maybe that can be broken down into cases. Let's go with the Rabbit from Hat trick as example. Is that suspicion:
1) Of what you are going to do? (when's he gonna pull a rabbit from that hat?)
2) Of what you are doing as incongruent? (does it look like the rabbit is pulled out of the hat?)
3) Of what you did before reconstructed in hindsight? (did he do the trick with the hat?)

PETA notice - no rabbits where harmed during this posting nor is anyone here encouraged to mishandle rabbits.
Mundus vult decipi -per Caleb Carr's story Killing Time

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby performer » December 11th, 2017, 2:15 pm

Brad Henderson wrote:
Jonathan Townsend wrote:Maybe this "lie" dialog is about keeping the audience side of silent script (what they think is happening) internal rather than narrated?

performer wrote:...Slydini didn't advocate that people should emulate him...
Maybe after they learned to do exactly as shown in the lesson.


exactly. it was my understanding from speaking to his students that he insisted they learn each trick EXACTLY as he performed it. very few ever made it to the stage where personalization became
an issue. that's according to people who considered themselves serious personal students of slydini.


All I can tell you is what I read in the Ganson book. I do not have it in front of me but I recall either him or Ganson saying on behalf of him that they should adapt things to their own personality. I concede that certainly many of his students didn't do that. However, I have seen Cellini perform who was one of his more prominent students and he didn't seem to be anything like Slydini or ape his mannerisms in any way. And of course he was a street performer and they tend not to have great opportunities for lapping.

I think he must have meant emulate his techniques rather than his personality. That is what I do. I utterly refuse to speak with an Italian accent. Not the British way of doing things I am afraid. I do know the paper balls over the head trick is as old as the hills but I bet that most performers learned about it from the Slydini books but were sensible enough to adapt it to their own requirements. I know Ken Brooke learned it from Slydini but I also remember him bragging, "I get more laughs from it than Slydini ever did". And Ken performed in a Yorkshire accent rather than an Italian one so I assume that he managed to put his own take on it.

I do remember Slydini once having the privilege to be in my presence. I remember he seemed to be rather pleased with himself. I did have that in common with him. My favourite memory of him was when I saw him on British TV performing for Peter Haigh, a TV personality of the time. After he did the silk trick he said, "Do you think that was good? No, don't tell me. I know it is good" I remember that more than the tricks he did!

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby Brad Henderson » December 11th, 2017, 2:27 pm

the books are clear and they do teach that one must adapt to their own personal styles. But his method of teaching requires the students to copy exactly.

I spent a great deal of time with cellini a few years back and in fact he was one of those who educated me on that point though others have said the same to me.

though this problem isn't unique to slydini students - most magicians are under the mistaken impression that people with different body types and mannerisms and rhythms can achieve the same result as another by copying what they do.

until we recognize that all of us are unique and chose to build on that uniqueness, instead of trying to graft the uniqueness of other people onto our being, our growth will remain stunted.

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby Brad Henderson » December 11th, 2017, 2:32 pm

this sunday i approached a literate table of folks at the restaurant in which i perform. Each of the two children were reading books.

Given our recent discussion i performed the Hoy book test.

They were convinced i could read minds.

and no one, at no time, ever even mentioned the page number as important.

apparently lies work - when you know how and when to use them.

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby jkeyes1000 » December 11th, 2017, 5:31 pm

Jonathan Townsend wrote:
jkeyes1000 wrote:To me, it's about allaying suspicion by diverting the audience's attention from the simple truth, rather than denying it outright. Change the subject, make a joke, focus on something else. Verbal misdirection, as opposed to blatant lies. ...


Suspicion is a biggie. Maybe that can be broken down into cases. Let's go with the Rabbit from Hat trick as example. Is that suspicion:
1) Of what you are going to do? (when's he gonna pull a rabbit from that hat?)
2) Of what you are doing as incongruent? (does it look like the rabbit is pulled out of the hat?)
3) Of what you did before reconstructed in hindsight? (did he do the trick with the hat?)

PETA notice - no rabbits where harmed during this posting nor is anyone here encouraged to mishandle rabbits.


I was specifically thinking of the suspicion of lying in the above comment. Of course, the purpose of misdirection is to allay any kind of suspicion you can. It's just not possible to dispel the notion that a magician is using mechanical devices and/or sleight of hand. We have to work around that.

But lies MAY BE DETECTED by first, being suspicious and second, hearing a direct statement uttered by the performer which he or she neglects to verify. Odds are that most of the crowd will be lulled into trusting the magician if he has a charming personality, but it is a risk I would never take. I am capable of enchanting an audience, but I am loathe to overshadow the effect with my eloquence. I feel it would be terribly unfair. I want folks to have a chance to comprehend what they are seeing. I sympathise with those who are frustrated by intellectual roadblocks.

Brad will love this confession! Get ready for another tirade against "puzzlers".

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby Jack Shalom » December 11th, 2017, 6:32 pm

Brad Henderson wrote:this sunday i approached a literate table of folks at the restaurant in which i perform. Each of the two children were reading books.

Given our recent discussion i performed the Hoy book test.

They were convinced i could read minds.

and no one, at no time, ever even mentioned the page number as important.

apparently lies work - when you know how and when to use them.


Yes, but I'm sure you felt dirty and soiled and had to take a shower afterwards.

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby observer » December 11th, 2017, 6:42 pm

The accent was an important part of Slydini's presentation, I would suggest. What might come across as confrontational (and did so to some anyway, it seems) was defused by the spectator making allowance for the performer's imperfect command of the language.

"You watch, but you no see!"

I don't know how much the imperfect command was genuine and how much was put on for showbiz purposes, but a fluent native speaker would probably be well advised to write their own patter & adjust performance to suit if required.

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby observer » December 11th, 2017, 6:46 pm

Jack Shalom wrote:
Brad Henderson wrote:this sunday i approached a literate table of folks at the restaurant in which i perform. Each of the two children were reading books.

Given our recent discussion i performed the Hoy book test.

They were convinced i could read minds.

and no one, at no time, ever even mentioned the page number as important.

apparently lies work - when you know how and when to use them.


Yes, but I'm sure you felt dirty and soiled and had to take a shower afterwards.


Hoy used to introduce himself to audiences, did he not, as

"My name is David Hoy, and I am a FRAUD!"

People often believed the "fraud" part was a lie ...

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby performer » December 11th, 2017, 11:05 pm

observer wrote:The accent was an important part of Slydini's presentation, I would suggest. What might come across as confrontational (and did so to some anyway, it seems) was defused by the spectator making allowance for the performer's imperfect command of the language.

"You watch, but you no see!"

I don't know how much the imperfect command was genuine and how much was put on for showbiz purposes, but a fluent native speaker would probably be well advised to write their own patter & adjust performance to suit if required.


I never found Slydini particularly confrontational. And yes, I do suppose the accent may well have had something to do with it.

I do find it a shame that when stars like Slydini, Vernon and Goshman burst on the scene and become legends somehow their impact diminishes in time. They no longer become the legends they once were, people find fault with them and begin to forget what made them legends in the first place. They become familiar with the material and it no longer means what it once did. When people mention their names to the younger generation they just shrug their shoulders and go back to watching the latest DVD and worship the latest mediocrity.

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby Brad Henderson » December 11th, 2017, 11:09 pm

Jack Shalom wrote:
Brad Henderson wrote:this sunday i approached a literate table of folks at the restaurant in which i perform. Each of the two children were reading books.

Given our recent discussion i performed the Hoy book test.

They were convinced i could read minds.

and no one, at no time, ever even mentioned the page number as important.

apparently lies work - when you know how and when to use them.


Yes, but I'm sure you felt dirty and soiled and had to take a shower afterwards.


not at all. their smiles of amazement were exhilarating. I left knowing i had given them an experience they have never had before and likely will never have again. To be concerned with the method is to miss the point. the point is that smile that reveals you have allowed them a safe opportunity in which to experience mystery.

that's something only the magician can provide.

give them an experience they value and they will fight to preserve and protect it.

but that requires we put their needs ahead of our own

a valuable lesson some here need to learn, it seems.

( not referring to you, per se, jack. Just some. )

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby Brad Henderson » December 11th, 2017, 11:13 pm

performer wrote:
observer wrote:The accent was an important part of Slydini's presentation, I would suggest. What might come across as confrontational (and did so to some anyway, it seems) was defused by the spectator making allowance for the performer's imperfect command of the language.

"You watch, but you no see!"

I don't know how much the imperfect command was genuine and how much was put on for showbiz purposes, but a fluent native speaker would probably be well advised to write their own patter & adjust performance to suit if required.


I never found Slydini particularly confrontational. And yes, I do suppose the accent may well have had something to do with it.

I do find it a shame that when stars like Slydini, Vernon and Goshman burst on the scene and become legends somehow their impact diminishes in time. They no longer become the legends they once were, people find fault with them and begin to forget what made them legends in the first place. They become familiar with the material and it no longer means what it once did. When people mention their names to the younger generation they just shrug their shoulders and go back to watching the latest DVD and worship the latest mediocrity.


i think in slydini's case it's also an issue with how magic has changed. 'those kids today' (as a rule) wouldn't imagine sitting at a table and performing an actual show. That type of material doesn't sell well so they haven't been taught/learned to see the value in it. They are shown quick visual tricks that look great on video. They are told this is the magic an audience wants.

it isnt

it's the magic that's easy to sell over a visual medium such as the internet.

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby Jack Shalom » December 11th, 2017, 11:45 pm

Brad Henderson wrote:
Jack Shalom wrote:
Brad Henderson wrote:this sunday i approached a literate table of folks at the restaurant in which i perform. Each of the two children were reading books.

Given our recent discussion i performed the Hoy book test.

They were convinced i could read minds.

and no one, at no time, ever even mentioned the page number as important.

apparently lies work - when you know how and when to use them.



Yes, but I'm sure you felt dirty and soiled and had to take a shower afterwards.


not at all. their smiles of amazement were exhilarating. I left knowing i had given them an experience they have never had before and likely will never have again. To be concerned with the method is to miss the point. the point is that smile that reveals you have allowed them a safe opportunity in which to experience mystery.

that's something only the magician can provide.

give them an experience they value and they will fight to preserve and protect it.

but that requires we put their needs ahead of our own

a valuable lesson some here need to learn, it seems.

( not referring to you, per se, jack. Just some. )



You realize of course I was speaking tongue in cheek. I couldn't agree with you more.

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby Brad Henderson » December 12th, 2017, 8:52 am

i did.

but i didn't want to miss an opportunity
to make the point.

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby jkeyes1000 » December 12th, 2017, 10:48 am

Brad Henderson wrote:i did.

but i didn't want to miss an opportunity
to make the point.


I suppose it would be awfully uncivil of me to say that your "point" about pleasing your audience with Hoy's Book Test is no more valid or conclusive than any of my "groundless" observations.

Just want to make sure we stay objective.

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby performer » December 12th, 2017, 12:57 pm

I don't know much about Hoy's Book Test but I gather it is something to do with miscalling the page number of a book. I don't really see much of a problem with that somehow. I do concede that I don't know that much about the trick to make a judgement on it though.

All I can say after attempting to read the salient parts of this discussion, (I suspect the only people who have read every word of the discussion are Jkeyes and Brad) is that there are lies and lies. Most lies seem more or less acceptable but there are perhaps a tiny, tiny, few that aren't. I shall give two examples.

I don't like exposure of secrets but I expect that if you exposed the Hoy Book Test to a layman he would not think badly of the magician and would accept the lie was part of the deception and would not be aggrieved of it. However, if a magician lied about no camera tricks when there were or that no collusion/stooges were in operation and they were then I think a line would be drawn since the layman would feel aggrieved over the deception. So there are acceptable lies and unacceptable ones. I can't think off hand of any other unacceptable lies but I am sure there are some.

I think it would be more constructive to discuss which lies are deemed acceptable and which aren't. It does seem to me that there are more that are acceptable than aren't. Having said that, I think that I personally by instinct rather than design avoid blatant lies, at least in the main. And I suspect others do too.

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby jkeyes1000 » December 12th, 2017, 1:33 pm

performer wrote:I don't know much about Hoy's Book Test but I gather it is something to do with miscalling the page number of a book. I don't really see much of a problem with that somehow. I do concede that I don't know that much about the trick to make a judgement on it though.

All I can say after attempting to read the salient parts of this discussion, (I suspect the only people who have read every word of the discussion are Jkeyes and Brad) is that there are lies and lies. Most lies seem more or less acceptable but there are perhaps a tiny, tiny, few that aren't. I shall give two examples.

I don't like exposure of secrets but I expect that if you exposed the Hoy Book Test to a layman he would not think badly of the magician and would accept the lie was part of the deception and would not be aggrieved of it. However, if a magician lied about no camera tricks when there were or that no collusion/stooges were in operation and they were then I think a line would be drawn since the layman would feel aggrieved over the deception. So there are acceptable lies and unacceptable ones. I can't think off hand of any other unacceptable lies but I am sure there are some.

I think it would be more constructive to discuss which lies are deemed acceptable and which aren't. It does seem to me that there are more that are acceptable than aren't. Having said that, I think that I personally by instinct rather than design avoid blatant lies, at least in the main. And I suspect others do too.


Understand, I am only giving my opinion Mark, but I would "accept" any kind of caricature or role play and the patter that goes along with it. Blackstone Sr. is an old favourite of mine. He would tell "fairy tales" full of nonsense in order to enhance the effect. But generally speaking (I can't say absolutely) he wasn't the sort to SERIOUSLY lie about what he was doing. He would narrate his actions FROM THE AUDIENCE'S PERSPECTIVE, rather than assure the crowd of something unseen.

I think most magicians put on the manner of a storyteller when they say fantastic things, and that's fine with me. I object however, to the pretense of credibility that some magicians affect, the "confidence game" they play to obscure their moves. I do not believe that audiences enjoy being "faked out". It's too much like the proverbial pig in a poke.

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby Brad Henderson » December 12th, 2017, 2:23 pm

jkeyes1000 wrote:
Brad Henderson wrote:i did.

but i didn't want to miss an opportunity
to make the point.


I suppose it would be awfully uncivil of me to say that your "point" about pleasing your audience with Hoy's Book Test is no more valid or conclusive than any of my "groundless" observations.

Just want to make sure we stay objective.


empirical testing is groundless?

hmm

and if lies upset the audience, as you claim, why would they respond happily?

according to you a lie told hurts magic and upsets the audience. clearly it doesn't. These people left having enjoyed the experience immensely.

and what's even more relevant is none of them ever even mentioned the page number. In fact, that likely don't even recall how the page was chosen.

that's because when you focus the mind reading trick on the MIND READING and not the method and process, the audience will too.

any experienced, competent performer knows that.

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby Brad Henderson » December 12th, 2017, 2:25 pm

jkeyes1000 wrote:
performer wrote:I don't know much about Hoy's Book Test but I gather it is something to do with miscalling the page number of a book. I don't really see much of a problem with that somehow. I do concede that I don't know that much about the trick to make a judgement on it though.

All I can say after attempting to read the salient parts of this discussion, (I suspect the only people who have read every word of the discussion are Jkeyes and Brad) is that there are lies and lies. Most lies seem more or less acceptable but there are perhaps a tiny, tiny, few that aren't. I shall give two examples.

I don't like exposure of secrets but I expect that if you exposed the Hoy Book Test to a layman he would not think badly of the magician and would accept the lie was part of the deception and would not be aggrieved of it. However, if a magician lied about no camera tricks when there were or that no collusion/stooges were in operation and they were then I think a line would be drawn since the layman would feel aggrieved over the deception. So there are acceptable lies and unacceptable ones. I can't think off hand of any other unacceptable lies but I am sure there are some.

I think it would be more constructive to discuss which lies are deemed acceptable and which aren't. It does seem to me that there are more that are acceptable than aren't. Having said that, I think that I personally by instinct rather than design avoid blatant lies, at least in the main. And I suspect others do too.


Understand, I am only giving my opinion Mark, but I would "accept" any kind of caricature or role play and the patter that goes along with it. Blackstone Sr. is an old favourite of mine. He would tell "fairy tales" full of nonsense in order to enhance the effect. But generally speaking (I can't say absolutely) he wasn't the sort to SERIOUSLY lie about what he was doing. He would narrate his actions FROM THE AUDIENCE'S PERSPECTIVE, rather than assure the crowd of something unseen.

I think most magicians put on the manner of a storyteller when they say fantastic things, and that's fine with me. I object however, to the pretense of credibility that some magicians affect, the "confidence game" they play to obscure their moves. I do not believe that audiences enjoy being "faked out". It's too much like the proverbial pig in a poke.


how does the audience know they have been 'faked out' unless the performer is incompetent and gets caught ?

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby jkeyes1000 » December 12th, 2017, 3:01 pm

"How does the audience know they have been 'faked out' unless the performer is incompetent and gets caught ?"

Brad, I am going to answer your question in a slightly different way this time.

I will concede that more often than not, audiences will GIVE YOU THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT that you are not lying, and therefore be amazed by your act.

But it is largely because magicians
that came before you earned their trust. Because the secrets of magic that have been exposed do not depend on lies.

So you might "get away with it" for a while longer, but if the liars become the new "Heroes Of Magic", then in a generation or two that trust shall be iirrevocably lost.

How will they know? I think the better question is, "How will they not?".

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby Jackpot » December 12th, 2017, 3:26 pm

performer wrote:All I can say after attempting to read the salient parts of this discussion is that there are lies and lies.


To be more precise, "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics." -- Benjamin Disraeli.

(Attributing this statement to Disraeli is possibly a lie.)
Not the one who created the Potter Index.

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby Brad Henderson » December 12th, 2017, 3:43 pm

jkeyes1000 wrote:"How does the audience know they have been 'faked out' unless the performer is incompetent and gets caught ?"

Brad, I am going to answer your question in a slightly different way this time.

I will concede that more often than not, audiences will GIVE YOU THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT that you are not lying, and therefore be amazed by your act.

But it is largely because magicians
that came before you earned their trust. Because the secrets of magic that have been exposed do not depend on lies.

So you might "get away with it" for a while longer, but if the liars become the new "Heroes Of Magic", then in a generation or two that trust shall be iirrevocably lost.

How will they know? I think the better question is, "How will they not?".


really? audiences 'trust' magicians? really? i suppose when they grab their wallets when one introduces him or herself that's an act of trust?

your entire argument relies on the premise that the audience believes this man who claims to do the impossible isn't a liar. Just as they know the monsters in the haunted house are actors with masks. they know the magician lies. That's the reason they turn to him or her - they want to experience the impossible. THEY DONT CARE HOW ITS DONE AS LONG AS YOU DONT MAKE HOW ITS DONE THE POINT
OF THE EXPERIENCE.

which YOU have confessed to doing.

you have said plainly that the art of magic is presenting illusions so the audience can try to figure them out.

your approach focuses on the methods. not the effects.

but most people don't like puzzles. The reason they say they don't like magic isn't because of some inate distaste for magic (performing for young people will demonstrate that ones natural unjaded reaction to magic is joy). no, the people who say they don't like magic are really saying they don't like how magic makes them feel.

this is because most magicians, like you, don't present magic - they present puzzles. Puzzles are only fun if you figure them out. If you don't you are left feeling either unsatisfied or stupid. We have turned magic into a contest - did it fool you?

lying isn't the reason magic isn't respected as an art - all art is lies, after all. The reason magic isn't respected is because we as a group most often present puzzles and tricks that please us as puzzlers. We make it about our needs. not theirs.

If you change your goal of magic away from creating a puzzle for your audience to try to figure out and instead work to convey a feeling of mystery and wonder you will learn that they stop caring about the methods - in fact they will actively work to keep ideas of methods out of their minds. They will fight to preserve the notion that what they have seen was magic, not tricks.

and again you are historically shaky ground as magicians, our hero's of magic, HAVE lied to audiences FOR CENTURIES.

and yet in all my life i have never seen or heard of a lay person damning the magician exclusively for the verbal prevarications he or she utters.

and i'd bet dollars to donuts you haven't either.

but i have seen them laugh a magician off the stage when they spy the card palmed in his hand

you ask how will they not know? because the magician is competent and knows how to employ his tools wisely and skillfully, whether they are gaffs, sleights or verbal strategies. Magicians have been lying for centuries and for the talented ones it seems to work out just fine.

so we are back to what i've said many times:

1) you're doing it wrong
2) your position is groundless
Last edited by Brad Henderson on December 12th, 2017, 3:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Ennobling Magic

Postby Mark Collier » December 12th, 2017, 3:50 pm

This title should be about magic and magicians:
https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com ... 3,200_.jpg


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